This week, we tuned in to a fascinating webinar held by Revinate, Siteminder and IdeaS. In this webinar, Peter O’Connor, Professor at ESSEC Business School looked at what the future of the Hotel Industry will look like in 2020. In order to research this, he did two things: 1) conducted a written survey with a group of hoteliers; 2) held a think-tank session with consultants and senior operational managers from hotels.
When doing so, he asked the two groups two questions: who is the guest of 2020 and what technology based systems will be used by hoteliers in 2020?
We’ve outlined the discussion points surrounding these key points.
Who is the Guest of 2020?
Both the survey respondents and the think tank session gave similar responses when posed this question – and the answer was quite predictable. Both groups understood that guests are becoming increasingly tech-savvy and sophisticated travellers. They all expect personalisation, want unique experiences and have higher expectations. However the real question they all had was: how do hotels achieve this? It was very quickly identified that truly understanding your guest is the key to success. Without a deep understanding of guests and website visitors, hoteliers will quickly fall behind the emerging trends in the industry.
What technology based systems will be used by hoteliers in 2020?
With this in mind, the results were quite surprising. The respondents in the written survey gave very conservative answers: all the systems they suggested (Revenue Management Systems, CRM Systems etc.) are already being widely used in hotels. So much so that the results for this question were very similar to the results of the same question asked back in 1990. It became evident that it’s actually quite difficult to describe something that doesn’t yet exist.
As such, the question was re-phrased: What technology systems would you want implemented in your hotel by 2020?